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For Fred Gowland, painting is less an avocation than a compulsion. He is artist for whom the act of creation comes as naturally as breathing. Indeed, to look Fred in the face is to conclude that painting directly contributes to his good health and vitality.

When we first approached Fred for a show, the artist was elated by the myriad directions in which the show's themes and styles might proceed. Every week, a new show seemed to emerge. There were landscapes in bright hues which seemed to reference the early Expressionism of painters like Chaim Soutine. And, there were spiritual paintings of Africa which seemed to recall work from the American Orientalist tradition. And, there were paintings which seemed to meld religious icons with folk art themes. And every week, we wondered whether Fred would ever settle on any one theme or style.

Each painting is a new experiment, a new door to be opened. And in the grouping, we are reminded of the joy of a life lived absolutely in the present.

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